Let’s Continue to Imagine the Future of Education in Kansas City

Janice Wait

Mozilla is excited to be back in Kansas City and even more excited to continue our work with inspiring local educators, innovators and technologists to leverage technology as a force for good in learning spaces.

We will continue to support a local ecosystem of education innovation through Hive KC and inspire the application of new technologies that leverage Kansas City’s ultra-fast gigabit internet for the benefit of education and workforce development through the Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund.

Since 2011, Mozilla has partnered with National Science Foundation and US Ignite to move gigabit innovations out of the lab and into places of learning. Mozilla is thrilled to be a part of this movement in Kansas City to support the creation of new learning opportunities, bring new voices into the conversation about what the future of the Web should look like, and advance the digital literacy of our youth.

Super fast internet connections – like Google Fiber – have the power to connect people across borders and allow collaboration in real time. From robots that can be controlled without lag from across town to virtual reality applications that transport students across the globe, this powerful internet infrastructure helps make so much more possible in education!

Now Accepting ApplicaitonsThe Gigabit Community Fund will make $300,000 available for pilot projects that show how high-speed networks can be leveraged for learning in the two pioneering gigabit cities – Kansas City and Chattanooga. Through these projects, we will continue to explore how next-generation technologies can make learning more immediate, equitable, and immersive. The application deadline is March 18, 2016.

To get your creative juices flowing about the potential of gigabit technologies in learning environments, here are some examples of previous projects –

Internet of Things

The Gigabots project connected developers at Big Bang with a local robotics club to pioneer connected robotics. Provided with the right combination of hardware, software, a cloud platform, and lessons in JavaScript, students built robots that could connect with each other in real-time from any location.

Big Data

The Wireless Earth Watchdogs project provided the curriculum and technology for students at Hixson High School to collect data on local water sources, monitor regional water pollution, and stream data in real time to researchers at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

PlanIT Impact LLC developed a visually-rich application that allowed architecture students and urban planners in Kansas City to transfer and manipulate large open data to analyze environmental impact and influence early building design.

Video

Viditor is an open-source, collaborative video editor, leveraging gigabit speed to allow multiple users to create and edit projects in real time and from any device with a modern browser. The technology was piloted in an art class at the Baylor School and with beta-testers at the Chattanooga Public Library.

Virtual Reality

The Kansas City Public Library’s Digital Media Lab piloted Oculus Rift +Minecraft, which combined the immersive VR technology with gaming software for a civic education program. The pilot gave Kansas City’s urban youth a voice in their community as well as an opportunity to design their ideal neighborhood while learning important digital literacy and design skills.

Youth use Oculus Rift to explore virtual Minecraft neighborhoods created by their peers. Photo courtesy of KCDML.

Be Imaginative

These projects provide just a few examples of how gigabit technologies can be leveraged to create new opportunities for learning. Let’s continue to show how imaginative we can be in Kansas City for educating the next generation of thinkers, makers, and leaders!

Connect with us at www.hivekc.org and follow @HiveKC on Twitter. Submit your project application at www.mozilla.org/gigabit.

We can’t wait to hear your ideas!

Author note: Written by Janice Wait, Portfolio Manager Gigabit Hive Kansas City

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